Conservation Archive gene

Conservation Report

April, 2007

Vice-Chair, Conservation: Gene Kaczka

Adirondack Club and Resort Project Thanks to all of you who submitted comments to the APA on the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort project advocating that they conduct an adjudicatory hearing. You may have seen press releases or received email from ADK noting that on February 9, 2007, the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) voted unanimously to take that step. The adjudicatory hearing process will provide a critical in-depth court-style examination of several issues related to this proposed large-scale development.

Included in the ten issues the APA specified for the hearing process are: impacts of the project on nearby Forest Preserve lands; impacts of the project on visual resources; and impacts of the proposed Great Camp lots on natural resource protection.

The proposed 6,400-acre project would result in the development of a 60-unit inn, 675 single family and multiple family dwelling units, and 24 “great camp” lots. It is the largest development proposal in the history of the APA and when completed it would almost double the population of Tupper Lake. The following is a quote from the Adirondack Council’s press release on the APA decision. “The Hudson Group (an Albany-based consulting firm hired by the developers to assist town officials in reviewing the development plan) said the project was financially risky for Franklin County and Tupper Lake taxpayers, with few assurances the project will even be a success.”

Mercury On January 26th the ADK filed a brief in a landmark lawsuit now being heard in the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Our club is joining more than a dozen states, leading medical, health care and public health groups, along with several prominent national environmental advocacy groups to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR).

Speaking on the brief, ADK’s Executive Director, Neil Woodworth said, “Two recent studies have linked coal-fired power plants to mercury “hotspots” in the Adirondacks and Catskills. Mercury contamination of our wilderness ecosystems is deeply troubling to those who treasure the call of the loon, the free spirited play of otters and the music of songbirds as part of their outdoor experience.”

The Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) seeks to weaken the strict mercury emission controls set forth in the Clean Air Act. The EPA administrative rule being challenged would delay for two decades the elimination of airborne mercury emissions as a source of mercury toxins in the Northeast and would allow many of the worst polluters to buy “pollution rights” continuing to release mercury up their smokestacks, perpetuating mercury hot spots in our region.
Finally, the Stone Valley interpretive sign project is in its last phase. The ten signs have been produced and are awaiting a few nice spring days to be mounted and enjoyed by trail users.